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Don’t Get Sick or Robbed on Vacation! 22 Tips for a Better Hotel Stay

Hotels can feel like a great retreat, but traveling also leaves you more vulnerable than ever to getting sick or robbed. Find out how to make your temporary room a true home away from home.

Young man opening hotel room electronic lock with key cardMa-Zvone/Shutterstock

Stay between the third and sixth floors

Hotel thefts are most common on the first and second floor, so staying on a floor above those will reduce your chance of having belongings stolen. Another consideration: Most fire engine ladders can’t reach the seventh floor. Rest easier by requesting the third, fourth, fifth, or sixth floor. Hotel managers shared 10 secret tips to help you get a free hotel upgrade.

Luxury white bedroom in antique style with rich decor and bedside lampsOlga Prava/Shutterstock

Skip the historic stays

A Victorian B&B might be charming, personal, and romantic—but it also probably has allergens and dust hiding in the rooms and lounges. A clean, modern hotel is a better option if you’re worried about getting sick. Find out 13 more ways your hotel room is making you sick.

Modern lobbyAugust_0802/Shutterstock

Opt for hotels over motels

It’s easier to steal from a room when thieves don’t have to go through a lobby first. Plus, if your bedroom opens to the outside, you’re literally opening your door to dirt and allergens. Check out the real differences between hotels and motels.

Sleeping woman cover face with blanket flat lay. Close-up of young women, sleeping under white blanket and covering half face.anon_tae/Shutterstock

Book an allergy-free room

Some hotels offer rooms designed to reduce the amount of allergens like dust mites. Even those without allergies could benefit if you tend to catch colds and flus easily. If your hotel doesn’t offer a separate room, check if it stocks allergy packs with items like mattress covers, special pillows, and face masks.

Room number in hotel corridor Buntoon Rodseng/Shutterstock

Keep your room number secret

Avoid physical attacks by making sure the person at the front desk doesn’t announce your room number out loud. Request that the employee write the number down instead. You should also test whether the hotel gives out room numbers. Use your cell phone to call the front desk, then pretend you’re a friend asking what room number they gave you. If they give it out freely, that’s a red flag.

These are secrets hotel receptionists won't tell you.

bed bugsAkos-Nagy/ShutterStock

Check for bedbugs

Even the best hotels can end up with bedbugs, especially with growing pesticide resistance. Avoid those itchy bumps by examining for the bugs before you unpack. Quickly pull away the comforter, and watch for brown bugs that are about the size of an apple seed scampering away. Take a close look at the pillows, mattress liners, and mattress seams for bugs or bloodstains. If you see anything questionable, ask for another room, and do another search there.

made up bedding in modern comfortable bedroom with clean white bed sheet and pillow with light from glass windowmerrymuuu/Shutterstock

Protect against bedbugs

Even if you don’t see any signs of bedbugs, take a moment to protect your bed, just in case. Move the bed out from against the wall, and tuck in the blankets so they can’t touch the floor.

Someone is packing clothes in baggage. It does help to reduce wrinkling.JoeyPhoto/Shutterstock

Double check for bedbugs at home

When you get back from your trip, head to the laundry room to check your luggage for signs of bedbugs. If you see any signs, toss the clothes straight into the wash, and follow up in the dryer on high heat for at least 15 minutes. Items that can’t be washed can be put in the freezer for a couple of days. Those nasty bugs won’t be able to survive the extreme temperatures.

Close up woman hand set up white bed sheet in hotel roomSeksun Guntanid/Shutterstock

Pack your own sheets

Hotel sheets could be crawling with dust mites, allergens, and germs. Throw your own sheet over the bedspread so you’re not exposed to those irritants. Check out these bizarre travel items that will change your life.

close up of a pretty black woman with curly hair sleeping in bed closed eyesDavid Prado Perucha/Shutterstock

Wear long sleeves

Another easy way to avoid contact with the bedding is to pack pajamas with long sleeves and long pants. A pair of light socks will help even more.

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